An electric bike rode into the backcountry. Now there’s a nationwide turf war

BCHA Encourages Chapters to Review USFS Memo “Best Practices for Managing Stock Use Sites at Developed Campgrounds” & Discuss with Local USFS Staff

 

04. May 2022 · Comments Off on 2022 BCHA Convention · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


Hello All,
I have been trying to get this update out to our state members since I came back from the BCHA Convention with no luck. So I have grabbed the contact emails off our BCHI website for each chapter and would appreciate each of you forwarding the below information to your chapters. Also if the email I am using is no longer valid can you please update me on the current email as I have more information to forward to our state members.

The meeting in Kansas City, MO in April was excellent for networking, information gathering, getting things accomplished and getting to know some folks from all over the country. This is my third national convention but the first in person convention, WOW what a difference.

The following is what I deem the most important but I will send other bits of news from time to time.

1) The volunteer hours report went thru some heavy discussion for a couple of days. In the end the decision was made to let each state do the type of report they want to do or the type they have been doing. There will be two types of forms on the BCHA website, we can use whichever one works for our state or the one you are using now. Each state tracks a little different subjects depending on what their state/federal agencies request/require. And the state information to these agencies is really the most important for this whole process. What happens with the BCHA collected data is very simple, Randy Rasmussen, paid Public Lands liaison, only needs the final big number of dollars. He said the folks he talks to do not deal in the details, just the big picture and that very large number works perfectly for him. BCHA gathers the final number from the state reports easily and then gives Randy the few overall figures needed.

2) The new officiers are:
Chairmen – Sherry Copeland
Vice Chairmen – Mark Himmel
Treasure – Tif Rodriguez

3) Committees and Committee Leads
Contract Review – Mark Himmel
Chapter Support Grants – Bob Wagner
Education – Craig Allen
Expansion – Freddy Dunn
Fundraising – Tif Rodriguez
Marketing & Media – Mark Himmel
Membership – Dennis Serpa
Partnership – Darrel Wallace
Public Lands – Brad Pollman
Volunteer Hours – John Chepulis
Youth – Greg Schatz
Nomination – Jim Allen

Any BCH member can be on any of the above committees. They all would gladly take more members and if you want additional information regarding any of these committees, please feel free to call/email myself or the head of the committee.

I hope this information helps to bring you up to date on the BCHA and some convention activities, there will be more to follow. Always feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, suggestions and anything else.
Respectfully,
Idaho National Director
Pat Bogar

04. April 2022 · Comments Off on BCHA – Volume 33, Issue 2 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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26. March 2022 · Comments Off on BCHI – State Board & Convention 2022 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


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20. March 2022 · Comments Off on Spring 2022 BroomTales · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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04. March 2022 · Comments Off on Lawsuit allowing e-bikes in Tahoe National Forest settled · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Current Events

SACRAMENTO (BRAIN) — The group of trail and forest advocates settled its federal lawsuit filed in 2019 against the U.S. Forest Service, whom it said allowed Class 1 e-bikes on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest without conducting a public study.

The Order of Dismissal was signed by the Department of Justice on March 31, 2020. Since then, the Tahoe National Forest included about 32 miles of trails in question into an existing assessment study — the East Zone Connect Project — that the USFS approved for Class 1 e-bike use in December 2020.

The Back Country Horsemen of America, one of the plaintiffs, participated in the process.

“We were pleased to find that the Forest Service checked all the necessary boxes in its examination of its proposal to allow Class 1 e-bike use on otherwise non-motorized trails,” said Randy Rasmussen, director of public lands and recreation for the Back Country Horsemen of America. “We did not object to, nor litigate, the outcome of the East Zone Connect Project.”

According to the lawsuit, before opening non-motorized trails to e-bike use, the Tahoe National Forest should have had a public study that includes analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act to assess the impact of the decision.

Other plaintiffs included the Backcountry Horsemen of California, The Wilderness Society, the Gold Country Trails Council, and the Forest Issues Group.

“To be clear, on the e-bike topic, the BCHA has always been about process, meaning that the public needs to be involved in federal agency decisions regarding where, and under what circumstances, e-bikes are allowed on existing trails enjoyed by the public,” Rasmussen said.

Lawsuit allowing e-bikes in Tahoe National Forest settled
04. March 2022 · Comments Off on New – U.S. Forest Service Guidance on Use of Equestrian Campsites · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Horse Camping

At the prompting of BCHA and allies that include the American Horse Council, last month the Forest Service national office circulated a memo to all national forests and national grasslands titled “Recommended Best Practices for Managing Stock Use Sites at Developed Campgrounds.” A copy of that memo can be found here.

We encourage BCHA chapters and volunteers to review this memo and, importantly, to use it as a reason to schedule a meeting with personnel at your local national forest to assist you to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Ensure the memo was received by the local Forest Service office,
  2. Discuss with forest staff the magnitude of the problem locally and the memo’s relevancy and implications, and
  3. Come to agreement on what adjustments in the management of equestrian campsites within Forest Service jurisdiction might be implemented in order to communicate to the public the need to prioritize equestrian campsites for use by parties with stock.

Background

Last year, BCHA approached the Forest Service regarding what options exist to minimize the extent to which parties without stock were occupying designated equestrian campsites throughout the National Forest System. We pointed out that agency policy for developed campgrounds prohibits parties from “Bringing in or possessing a saddle, pack or draft animal except as authorized by posted instructions” (Code of Federal Regulations, Section 36, subsection 261.16(l)). That is, parties with stock are prohibited by law from occupying Forest Service campsites that are not designated for equestrian use.

 Yet, there is no corresponding regulation that prevents parties without stock from occupying developed equestrian campsites. The problem of occupied horse camps escalated across the nation during the COVID pandemic, when many families and others chose close-to-home vacations in favor of long-distance travel. The Forest Service memo describes well the implications to stock users of this growing problem.

Horse Camp Incident Report Form

BCHA and its allies developed a Horse Camp Incident Report form for members to capture and record incidents where parties without stock are occupying Forest Service equestrian campsites. The form can be found here. An online version of the form can be downloaded to your smart phone; it can be accessed here.

 The purpose of the form is to support BCHA should we need to make the case for new regulations to prevent parties without stock from occupying equestrian campsites. BCHA is pleased that the Forest Service issued the aforementioned memo to field staff; it represents a logical first step to apply education to help lessen the problem.

 We don’t know that education alone will prove sufficient to solve the horse camping problem. By collecting your accounts of incidents in the field, we might better document the magnitude and geographic extent of the problem. Consequently, BCHA is relying on its members to provide data from the field of your observations, should we need to promote further solutions.

Special notes:

  • Always be courteous to other campground users. It’s likely that any party without stock has occupied an equestrian campsite because regular campsites were already taken or reserved.
  • Remember, it’s not illegal for others to camp in an equestrian campsite. Plus, some folks might not know the difference between an equestrian and regular campsites (seriously!) or why their occupancy of an equestrian campsite might force us to travel far distances in order to find a legal campsite—if not forced to return home, an outing ruined.
  • If you end up speaking with such parties, use these talking points to educate them about the scarcity of legal campsites for equestrian use and what happens when parties without stock occupy equestrian campsites.

PRINT INCIDENT FORM  //  ONLINE INCIDENT FORM

Managing Horse Camp Sites_whitepaper_FINAL

 

28. February 2022 · Comments Off on BCHI – 2022 Contact Information (March 2022) · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


READ FULL PDF: 2022-Mar BCHI Officers & Directors

07. February 2022 · Comments Off on BCHA & USFS Trail Partner Funding Grants · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


IMPORTANT NOTE: Please advise BCH members who wish to submit a US Forest Service Trail Partner Funding grant application to ensure their proposal is of a SIZE and SCALE to be competitive with applications submitted by other national organizations.

A grant application submitted by a single chapter for work on one or a few trails is unlikely to be funded. I encourage BCH members to join with other chapters or states to submit grant applications that are BIG and result in substantial work being done to reduce the amount of deferred maintenance of Forest Service trails (applications of up to $20,000!).

Your proposal will receive extra points if the work includes trail maintenance within one or more USFS Trail Maintenance Priority Area. See map at:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/trails/priority-areas

The scoring for Trail Partner Funding grant applications weighs heavily on:

1. Miles of trail maintained,

2. Miles of trail deferred maintenance eliminated,

3. Number of volunteers engaged, and

4. Cash and in-kind matching funds.

The level of cash match is also scored in addition to in-kind match (volunteer labor, etc.). Even a few hundred or few thousand dollars of cash match will tip the scale toward higher grant application scoring. So avoid the minimum 1:1 match composed entirely of in-kind labor, stock days, etc. Throw in some cash to substantially increase your grant scoring/ranking by the grant review team.

And band together. Just as important, band together with hiking, biking and other trail organizations to submit a joint application–grant applications that benefit multiple trail user groups receive higher scoring! At a minimum, describe in the grant application how the work you are proposing will benefit hikers, backpackers, trail runners, climbers, hunters, anglers, bird watchers, etc. Submit state-wide projects or multi-state projects in order to increase the chances your projects will be funded (and try to squeeze in a Trail Maintenance Priority Area).

BCHA Chapter Grant – How to Apply – Starting in January of each year!

How and When to Apply for a Chapter Support Grant

1 – Grant requests can only be between $100 and $1,000 (maximum). If you are matching our grant with other grants or sources of money for a larger project, please state the other matching group(s) and the amount they are providing.

2 – Are you following one or more of our Mission Statements?

a – To perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s back country and wilderness

b – To work to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use

c – To assist the various government and private agencies in their maintenance and management of said resource

d – To educate, encourage and solicit active participation in the wise use of the back country resource by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage

Also, are you educating and encouraging youth in the proper use of America’s backcountry and any public lands, be it county, state or national?

3 – The application must be complete! Incomplete applications will not be considered. Dates for chapter support grant submissions are January 1 to March 15.

4 – If for some reason a grant recipient is unable to do the project, please contact the chairman at grants@BHCA.org to discuss your options.

Timeline

January 1 through March 15 – We accept applications.

March 16 through March 31 – Committee scores and decides grant recipients.

April 1 – Spreadsheet goes to BCHA’s treasurer for checks to be written.

During the national board meeting, grant recipients will be announced. Checks will be sent the week after the national board meeting.

A project report is mandatory and due by December 31 of the year the grant is received. The contact person listed on the grant application is responsible for submitting the report. Send the report with pictures (before and after) to grants@BCHA.org.

Any questions? Contact the Chairman of the Chapter Support Grants Committee at grants@BCHA.org.

05. January 2022 · Comments Off on Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with the U.S. Forest Service 11/12/2021 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

BCHA continues to operate under a five-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with the U.S. Forest Service 11/12/2021

Do you have a service project you would like to accomplish on a nearby national forest? BCHA continues to operate under a five-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with the U.S. Forest Service related to trail maintenance and public education and outreach. We recommend you share a copy of the MOU with your local forest.  Many BCH chapters operate under a similar forest-specific service agreement, which often can be expedited if both parties are made aware of the national MOU. BCHA’s current MOU with the U.S. Forest Service is active to August 31st 2021.

21-MU-11132424-362-SIGNED-BCHA-signed-MOU_FinalSigned

 

04. January 2022 · Comments Off on BCHA Quarterly Newsletter – Winter Edition · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


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13. December 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – December 13, National Horse & Mule Day · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

05. December 2021 · Comments Off on BCHI 2022 Convention INFO · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

Convention cover letter

Hotels map

2022 Convention Registration

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13. November 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA 101 Training · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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09. November 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – November Update · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


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01. October 2021 · Comments Off on Back Country Horsemen of Idaho – New Facebook Page · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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29. September 2021 · Comments Off on Interim Directive for FSM 2358 – National Saw Policy – 09/2021 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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07. September 2021 · Comments Off on 2022 BCHI Calendars · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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Calendars make great gifts and have a much better chance of paying off than a Loto Ticket!
Contact: Scott Morgan 208-989-0632

calendar@sbbchidaho.org

31. August 2021 · Comments Off on Trails are Common Ground · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

BCHA is a proud sponsor of the new national Trails are Common Ground program. No matter our differences in backgrounds or how we choose to enjoy the great outdoors, trails create common ground that connects us. Access to trails is a privilege we acknowledge and can only safeguard through our actions toward one another. Meeting other people on the trail can be a good experience…or a bad one – Expect to see others on the trail  – Respect their right to be there – Be friendly You can make the trails a nicer place to be!

The new national program Trails are Common Ground is an educational program aimed at educating the public on proper trail etiquette when meeting other trail users on our public trails. The BCHA Trails are Common Ground brochure can be downloaded and printed to place at businesses that sell or rent trail related equipment, public agency offices and your favorite trail head.

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17. August 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – An overview · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


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02. July 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA Monthly News Letter – July 2021 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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25. May 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – Your favorite Trails · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

[Back Country Horsemen of America] | [360-443-6996] | [michellewade@bcha.org] | [www.bcha.org]

21. May 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – 2021 Officers · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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16. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – Top Trail Journeys Challange · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


Top Trail Journeys are Virtual Challenges open to all — riders and non-riders, who wish to participate with their non-motorized miles tracked via GPS app or device. Miles tracked can be ridden (horse, bicycle), on foot (hiking, jogging, walking) — you can even log your miles swimming in the pool. The objective is to get out and move — and earn a medal for your efforts.

Join the Top Trail Journeys Facebook Group to connect with other participants and share your journey with us. What’s your “why” — how is it going? We love to see the photos of your journey along the way. Do you walk, horseback ride or drive (equine), hike, bike, swim— to get outside, to stay fit, to alleviate stress, something else? Do your dogs tag along? Do you walk your horse, mule, mini, or Llama?

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12. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHI 2021 State & Chapter Leadership List · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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05. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA Volunteer agreement with the USFS · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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29. March 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA -Newsletters 2021 (Winter & Spring) · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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16. March 2021 · Comments Off on Wilson Creek Trail Coalition – Different user groups coming together · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Fun Rides

The BLM Wilson Creek Recreation Area on the Owyhee front is currently the “IN” place to be on weekends. Usership is up over 1000% over past years by a number of different groups. Mountain bikers make up the majority currently followed closely by hikers, 4-wheeler & side-by-sides, and then horseman. While it is still possible to ride trails where your are more likely to see hawks and coyotes then people, popular trails through some of the amazing canyons can be crowded. But the biggest issue currently is parking. By 09:00 on Saturday March 13, 2021 the main parking lot was 60% full of cars with a majority of them carrying one or more bikes, by 10:30 that lot had filled and cars were parking outside the designated area.
Members of BCHI who arrived around 09:00 made the choice to use the overflow parking north of the main area as a number of trailers were expected, this area also quickly filled and other riders continued past both areas to other level areas further up Wilson Creek road.  The BLM and a number of mountain bike user groups like SWIMBA and Rolling H Cycle, and the Idaho Horse  Council and BCHI have formed a working committee the “Wilson Creek Trails Coalition” to work together to work to reduce conflicts and parking issues to ensure all users have a positive experience.  BCHI have a number of members on this committee, for Squaw Butte that member is Sharie Fitzpatrick who happens to live near the area and rides it often.

On March 13 our chapter ride at Wilson Creek was very well attended and with quick thinking by Arlyn and Dave we were able to for the most part park together in the overflow lot.

As the weather was almost perfect and it appeared that a majority of the bikers were heading south west out of the main parking lot towards Wilson Creek and Hard Trigger Canyons, the group headed east in the general direction of the China Ditch canyon. While we did see a number of bikers and spoke to a few for the most part they were in the distance and did not present any issues. While we were in the China Ditch canyon itself we didn’t meet any other users until we reached the southern end where you climb out of the canyon heading back west. There we met a dozen bikers and a number of hikers. We stopped and talked to them for a while before continuing our loop.

By 14:00 we were back at the trailers, and while many cars had left, still more were arriving. Let’s hope that the various user group that love this area working together can find ways for us to continue enjoying this treasure with out loving it to death.  If you are interested in working with this committee contact Ann Potcher  ampotcher@gmail.com

07. March 2021 · Comments Off on 2021 New Membership Flyer · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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14. February 2021 · Comments Off on Camping with Stock Clinic – April 24, 2021 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Education


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08. February 2021 · Comments Off on BCHI State Board Meeting Agenda – March 13, 2021 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

27. January 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – Empowering Youth In BCHA · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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STONEYDALE PRESS

Burk’s new book tells essential story of Montana’s wild places
What better thing could a bunch of old timers leave for us before taking off to those fabled “happy hunting grounds” than to tell us the story, and maybe show us a few pictures as well, of the most remarkable places they’ve been, the marvelous things they’ve seen, and the deep respect they’ve gained for everything wild in Montana. A couple of old timers, Dale Burk of Stevensville and Wayne Chamberlin of Helena, along with over 70 other writers and photographers, have done just that in the new book, “A Wild Land Ethic – The Story of Wilderness in Montana.”

Co-editors Burk and Chamberlin have managed to pull together a masterful collection of stories and photos from some of the most dedicated and influential wilderness advocates in the state, each one giving us a glimpse into the awesome majesty of the wild, informing us of its intrinsic value and conveying the need to protect Montana’s wildlife and wild places for future generations. The book is dedicated to the late Ken and Florence Baldwin of Bozeman, early advocates in Montana for wilderness preservation and founders of the Montana Wilderness Association.

08. January 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – 2021 Alerts · Categories: BCHI /BCHA



24. December 2020 · Comments Off on Randy Rasmussen BCHA – electric bikes & Public Lands · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


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08. December 2020 · Comments Off on See your story in the BCHA Newsletter · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

At the BCHA newsletter office, we know these challenging times are hard on everyone, especially with concerns over holiday gatherings and such. The BCHA newsletter is a touchstone for all across the country who share a love of packing and riding in the beautiful wilderness. The newsletter is a reminder that things can and will get back to normal. Please help me fill a few pages.
My best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season,
Sherry Jennings
Send your stories, articles and pictures to
Sherry Jennings at BCHAEditor@comcast.net

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18. November 2020 · Comments Off on BCHA – Trails Day 2020 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

16. November 2020 · Comments Off on BCHA November Webinars · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


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GAOA Presentation

 

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25. September 2020 · Comments Off on Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) funding – Randy Rasmussen · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

From: Randy Rasmussen
Sent: Wed, 23 Sep 2020
Subject: Re: Reminder and Update: National Directors Call

BCHA National Directors:

Regarding our conversation this evening about Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) funding, which is intended to address “priority deferred maintenance” over the next 5 years, the take-home message is this:

1. All interested BCH states/chapters should contact their local US Forest Service office to provide input on trail maintenance projects important to horsemen and that can be implemented in Fiscal Years (FYs) 2022 through 2025.
– The list of projects is more-or-less set in stone for FY’21, which starts October 1st–but they’ll need your help next field season with many of these too!

  1. Most, if not all, USFS District Rangers and Forest Supervisors are well aware of the GAOA and scrambled within the past several weeks to develop their lists for FY’21.
    – They should be reaching out to your chapters in short order, to develop their lists for FY’22 and beyond. Plus, there should be future “public listening sessions” for such input.
    – Either way, contact your local USFS officials *within the next few weeks* to let them know of your interest in providing input on specific trail maintenance needs (and how your chapter can help, including whether entering into a Cost-Share Agreement would be viewed as beneficial by local USFS officials).
  2. As a result of the 2016 National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act (aka,”Trails Act”), the USFS identified 15 priority areas throughout the nation to demonstrate progress in addressing the trail maintenance backlog.
    – A map and description of those areas can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/trails/priority-areas
  3. The priority areas were established at a time when the USFS did not have special funding to address, in a broad fashion, their trail maintenance backlog. Now that GAOA funding will be available over the next 5 years. T
    – The agency will no doubt look far beyond these 15 priority areas to address priority deferred maintenance for trails. So don’t despair if your local forest is not within the current priority areas!

5. As Chairman Wallace said, for those chapters involved in trail maintenance projects with the BLM, National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service, you are encouraged to also reach out to them to inquire about how you can help set priorities and engage in their use of GAOA funding.

Best, Randy Rasmussen, M.S.

Director, Public Lands & Recreation | Back Country Horsemen of America

WildernessAdvisor@bcha.org | 541.602.0713 | www.bcha.org

25. September 2020 · Comments Off on USFS to announce e-Bike guidance – Comment Period · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Current Events, Public Lands

LINK TO FORM                         LINK TO READING ROOM

FSM 7710 Summary for Comment.pdf

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FSM 7700 Zero Code Definitions to CARA.pdf

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16. September 2020 · Comments Off on USFS District Rangers Directory · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Education

CONTACT US: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r4/about-region/contactus/?cid=fsbdev3_016050

Boise National Forest – 2020
Tawnya Brummett – Forest Supervisor
Kandice Cotner
 ​ – Acting Deputy Forest Supervisor
1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709
208-373-4100

Lucky Peak Nursery
15169 East Highway 21
Boise, ID 837
208-343-1977

Cascade Ranger District
Jake Strohmeyer​ – District Ranger
PO Box 696
540 North Main Street
Cascade, ID 83611
208-382-7400

Emmett Ranger District
Katie Wood – District Ranger
1805 Highway 16, Room 5
Emmett, ID 83617
208-365-7000

Idaho City Ranger District
John Wallace – District Ranger
PO Box 129
Highway 21, Milepost 38.3
Idaho City, ID 83631
208-392-6681

Lowman City Ranger District
John Kidd – District Ranger
7359 Highway 21
Lowman, ID 83637
208-259-3361

Mountain Home Ranger District
Stephaney Kerley – District Ranger
2180 American Legion Boulevard
Mountain Home, ID 83647
208-587-7961